Mad River Union
HUMBOLDT – David Sharp, Humboldt Crabs president, said it best: “It’s been such a journey, from no hope to holy crap, this is happening.”
Sharp and the dedicated members of the organization’s board of directors have been working to put all the pieces in place for the 2021 Crabs season. (The Humboldt Crabs had to suspend their 2020 season because of COVID-19 restrictions.)
“Everything’s different but it’s the same baseball,” Sharp said.
He’s excited about the changes made: ticket sales will be online and the new online ordering system for concessions and beverages will be up and running.
Fans will be able to order food and drinks using their smartphones, paying either with credit cards or with cash when they pick up their orders. They’ll even be able to get their orders in half an hour before the game starts.
Contrary to local rumors, there will be beer. All six taps, including local brews, will be operational. And cider and wine have been added to the offerings.
“We’re so excited to have teamed up with Humboldt Cider Company and Trinity River Vineyard,” Sharp said.
Food will also be ordered on smartphones, cutting down on the lines at the concession stand.
And changes are happening almost daily. “We just learned that the state has changed the guidelines on capacity and physical distancing,” Sharp explained. “We will still be requiring masks but, after the first eight games, the ballpark can be full.”
The Arcata Ball Park has a maximum capacity of 1,600 people, but games usually average 700 fans in attendance. The first eight games will be limited to 440 attendees. After that, let the fans stream in!
The season opens June 4 with a game against the Lincoln Potters.Tickets must be purchased online with pods identified as both household members and residents of California. The purchaser can be contacted in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
But not to worry. “Not all fans will be able to go to every game,” Sharp said. “We’ve upgraded the streaming equipment so fans can watch Crabs baseball for free, from multiple camera angles.”
Sharp has high hopes for a quality team as well. “Among all these preparations, we’ve been recruiting great college baseball players. We’re very excited to have three local kids: one returner and the other two new. And we’ll have two players whose fathers played for the Crabs.”
The Humboldt Crabs, founded in 1945, is the oldest continually operated summer college baseball team in American baseball, according to the organization’s website, humboldtcrabs.com.
With everything changing so quickly, fans are encouraged to consult the website for ticket information.The usual ticket outlets and the ticket booth at the ballpark will not be operating.
The website is also a useful resource for questions about outside food, special events, schedules, and all things Crabby.
“I can’t emphasize enough what a struggle this has been to figure out how this will work for us,” Tracy Mack, public relations maven extraordinaire, said. “We’ve been working with the health department and they’ve helped us quite a lot. The board has been working on this for a long time.”
Mack said that Megan Wink, the Crabs ballpark manager, has been in concessions for years. “She’s a former HSU softball player and she’s great,” Mack added.
And Mack sent a shout out to the season passholders. “Vicki Rossi has been calling people about season passes they purchased. Some of them are so nice, just telling her to roll it over to next summer. Here’s a shout out to our super fans,” she said. “Talk about nice!”
So, Crabs fans can rejoice. Play ball! And remember, check the website!, humboldtcrabs.com!